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The effect of alcohol drinking on erectile dysfunction in Chinese men


Erectile dysfunction (ED), smoking, and alcohol drinking are common in middle-aged men. Although smoking has been shown to be a risk factor of ED in Chinese and other populations, the relationship between drinking alcohol and ED is not clear. The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong conducted the Men Health Survey in 2004. In all, 1506 men aged 20–70 years were recruited by stratified random sampling of the male population. Face-to-face interviews were used to collect information on drinking and smoking and other life style factors, morbidities, and sociodemographic status during household visits. The more sensitive information on sexual activity and ED was obtained by a self-completed questionnaire at the end of the interview. A total of 816 subjects aged 31–60 years currently active in sexual activity were included in the present analysis. Compared with never drinkers, alcohol drinkers who consumed three or more standard drinks (one standard drink equals 12 g of alcohol) a week were more likely to report EDs as defined by having both sexual dissatisfaction and erectile difficulty (odds ratio (OR)=2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.28–4.03) after adjusting for age and cigarette smoking. When analyzed separately by smoking habit, the risks were higher in current smokers (OR=2.27, 95% CI=1.01–5.11) than never smokers (OR=1.91, 95% CI=0.68–5.35). Our results suggest that alcohol drinking of three or more standard drinks per week might reduce sexual satisfaction and impair erectile function in current smokers and might have less effect in never smokers.

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We thank all the members of the Men's Health Survey Steering Committee, the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, and the participants of the study.

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Correspondence to T H Lam.

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Lee, A., Ho, L., Yip, A. et al. The effect of alcohol drinking on erectile dysfunction in Chinese men. Int J Impot Res 22, 272–278 (2010).

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